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Melanocorypha calandra

warning Endangered
EN (C1)

Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev, Yoav Perlman, Tuvia Kahn, Yosef Kiat, Zev Labinger, Rei Segali, Eyal Shochat

The Calandra Lark is classified as Endangered (EN) because of the continued decline in its population size. The decline rate is estimated at more than 20% over two generations (7.6 years). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in the threat category reflects a decline in population size and range.
EN Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Presence In Israel Summer Breeder
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoography Zones Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian
Landscape Formations Mountainous, Plains & Valleys, Rural Area
Vegetation Formations Cropland, Steppe, Herbaceous
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Plantations, Overgrazing, Pesticide Poisoning, Habitat Fragmentation

The Calandra Lark is a relatively large lark, larger than the Eurasian Skylark. It has a large strong bill, and a head that appears broad and heavy. On the side of its breast is a prominent black collar. The black underside of the wing is prominent in flight, contrasting with the white trailing edge. The males sing both in flight and on the ground. Their song is loud, trilling and particularly mimicking, and sung early in the morning and in the late afternoon before sunset. It is a relatively rare and declining summer breeder in the Golan Heights, Eastern Galilee, Mt. Gilboa slopes and Eastern Samaria. It is a rare passage migrant throughout the country and in winter can also be seen in the Northern Negev. Until the 1980s, it nested in the Northern Negev down to the Nitsana-Shivta area in the south, as well as in the Judean Lowlands and the Northern Valleys.

Breeds in grassy steppes, grazing pastures and the edges of agricultural fields in plains, valleys and highlands, in Irano-Turanian and arid Mediterranean climates.

The Calandra Lark favors traditionally cultivated agricultural areas of small fields in which no pesticides are used. It has apparently been harmed by agricultural development that includes mechanical cultivation of large monoculture fields, with the use of pesticides. In certain areas, such as the Northern Negev, it has been adversely affected by overgrazing, afforestation and the increase in eruptive species such as Jackals, foxes and Corvids. The main breeding grounds of the species in Israel today are in eastern Samaria and the Golan Heights. In the Golan Heights, it is threatened by extensive development plans.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

The Calandra Lark is classified as Endangered (EN) because of the continued decline in its population size and range. In recent decades it has disappeared from large areas of the Northern Negev, Judean Lowlands and the Northern Valleys. In light of the accelerated development planned for the Golan Heights, key areas of grassy shrubland with dense breeding populations should be located and protected.

Key areas for preservation should be located for the Calandra Lark, such as its breeding sites in the Golan Heights and around the Bet Netofa Valley.

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev, Yoav Perlman, Tuvia Kahn, Yosef Kiat, Zev Labinger, Rei Segali, Eyal Shochat

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

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Calandrella cinerea
Alaemon alaudipes
Ammomanes deserti